Chapter 2

Register as an employer

You’ve considered the position you want to fill and your own responsibilities. It’s time to register as an employer.

a small business owner registering as an employer on a laptop

Registering as an employer may take time, so start the process as early as possible.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Register online with HMRC to get your employer pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) reference number – this can take up to five days.
  • Make sure to register at least two weeks before you start paying your employees, but not too far out as you can’t register more than two months before the first payday.

Understand employment law

The entire employment process is governed by certain laws, so understand them before you begin hiring. Speak with an employment lawyer for specific advice or check a government site to learn more about employment laws and how to comply with them.

The gov.uk page on employing people has some helpful guides on workplace laws.

Disclaimer: Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.

Guide to hiring

Hiring help can improve your business, and your lifestyle. But it’s a big process. Here’s what to do and when to do it.

Download the guide to hiring employees

Learn about how to hire employees and how to handle the admin that goes with it. Fill out the form to receive the complete guide as a PDF.

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